Overwhelmed by the thought of de-cluttering or downsizing?

Curious about whether renting or buying is best for you?

Worried about how you will maintain your home and yard?

All of these questions – and many more! – were addressed at Orange County’s second Aging in Community Housing Expo.  The EXPO was hosted by the Orange County Department on Aging on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Cherie Rosemond, PhD, Director of UNC’s Partnerships in Aging Program, was joined by UNC graduate students Michelle Gonzales (Public Health) and Melissa Hunter (Social Work) to organize the event.

A photo of the “Housing Visioning Board” at the Aging in Community Housing Expo. From left: Melissa Hunter, graduate student in Social Work; Janice Tyler, Director of the Orange County Department on Aging; Cherie Rosemond, Director of the Partnerships in Aging Program; Mary Fraser, Director of the Orange County Aging Transitions Program; Michelle Gonzalez, graduate student in Public Health.

Aging service providers, developers, and entrepreneurs gathered at the Seymour Center to share their housing ideas with community members.

Over 200 participants attended the event, taking advantage of different ways to learn and share. Highlights of the event included:

  • 23 informational booths set up throughout the Seymour Center as a way for people to quickly learn about new ideas related to senior housing—and to meet the people behind organizations who are supporting our later lives.
  • 8 presentations were offered so participants could get detailed information about interesting topics related to senior housing. Presentation topics included a panel featuring neighborhoods that are organizing to prepare for aging, costs and availability of various housing models, what Orange County is doing to develop affordable senior housing, home safety, and Pee Wee Home communities.
  • Everyone in attendance was invited to share their dreams about later life housing by signing a Housing Vision Board.
  • Participants were invited to wear a button advertising their age as part of a campaign to dismantle ageism. The campaign, called “Be Bold: Claim Old,” brought many smiles as people enjoyed showing off their age.

The Partnerships in Aging Program is proud to be part of the push to ensure that elders in Orange County have inspiring, safe, affordable places to live.